Our latest venture, the Garden Project, was initiated by agricultural scientist, Hamish Turner who, with his wife Chris, visited India in 2008 and instigated the establishment of five acres of garden at our Kottavalasa Community Centre for vegetable and fruit production. Their objective was twofold; firstly, to provide the children with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables; secondly, to create a market garden that will ‘break even’ – by selling surplus produce in order to purchase rice and other necessities.
To achieve this goal, the produce needs to be of a high standard which includes good sizing, good colour and free of blemishes. Other significant benefits include passing on crop management skills which could lead to a career path in agriculture.
In May 2009 Hamish returned to India to monitor the project and to participate in a four-day training programme for those young men and women who are now in charge of the garden’s maintenance and whose responsibility it is to forward progress reports to the Board of Friends of New Hope in Australia.
The long-term benefits for the community are many, and include:
- Self-sufficiency in fruit and vegetable production.
- The ability to generate an income by selling excess produce.
- An increased knowledge of farming skills and agricultural concepts.
- Long-term independence for the community, reducing the need for food assistance.
- An increased sense of community achievement.
Make a donation to the Garden Project.